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Married on the Mountain

Married on the Mountain

July 11, 2024

I GOT MARRIED!

On June 22nd, my wife, Caroline and I exchanged vows at our home in Evergreen. With the sun above and the earth below as witnesses, we pledged ourselves to each other. It was a powerful ceremony that blended Jewish and Celtic traditions and was facilitated by our couples counselor, Rick Tivers. No one knows our relationship as well as he does, and he ensured that we slowed down, felt the moment, and connected with each and every guest in attendance. Surrounded by close friends and family, I cried as I took in the beauty of the moment and the gravity of my love and commitment for Caroline.

What really stood out to me was that our wedding was truly a community undertaking. Since it was at our home, we really built it from the ground up. With the help of our friends and family, we cleared the land, created all of the decorations, crafted the ceremony, provided all of the food, and organized all of the vendors. It took months of consistent work and we leaned on our circle of friends and family to make it happen. We could not have done it alone and we would not have wanted to. By the end of the day, it was clear that our community had touched every part of this wedding. It felt grounded while being infused with love and support.

In Western Culture, marriage is one of the only initiation ceremonies that we have left. It’s a boy-to-man moment that cements us as adults in our communities. Beyond being a celebration of love, the marriage ceremony illustrates that men find meaning in commitments. Taking responsibility, keeping promises, and practicing discipline is what separates boys from men.

As a boy, I wanted to avoid hard work. I valued comfort and pleasure over everything – often to my detriment. I didn’t want to push myself or take risks. I wanted my life to be carefree and easy. In the pursuit of ease, I shirked responsibility, distanced myself from my friends, and avoided conflict. I kept everything that I perceived as difficult as far away from me as possible. No wonder I was so lonely!

As I grow as a man, I realize that men are measured by the amount of responsibility that they can take on. Every time I show up for my community we become closer and I get to stretch my emotional muscles. Real strength means showing up for the people that matter to you, no matter what. What I used to see as burdensome or inconvenient, I now see as the building blocks of purpose and meaning.

So, as I take this next step into married life, adulthood and manhood, I do so with open eyes and an open heart. I hope to shoulder the weight of my new family and lean on my community as needed. It truly does take a village and I’m so happy that I’ve found mine.

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